Ten university staff members at Stellenbosch University and the University of Fort Hare have been selected to join the South Africa-UK University Staff Doctoral Programme 2021-2026.
With support from Bath co-supervisors, they will study towards a PhD degree in the field of public policy and inclusive development to help improve policy outcomes in the South African context.
Jacomien Van der Merwe
Jacomien holds a Masters degree in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics. She has 10+ years experience working as a transport economist within the transport consultancy industry and continued her professional career as an academic and researcher at Stellenbosch in 2017. She is passionate about the development and implementation of sustainable financial and economic solutions to reduce inequalities within developing countries.
Investigating the impact of transport accessibility on employee churn rates within the lower skilled labour market in South Africa, her PhD project takes a transport economics perspective to study public and private transport policy interventions for providing better access to places of work.
Mosima lectures introductory economics at Stellenbosch and holds a Masters degree in Economics. Her interests are in health economics and health and inequality, with a particular focus on qualitative research methods and how they can be used effectively in acquiring a deeper understanding of the health problems in South Africa.
Her PhD on health inequalities in South Africa takes a relational equality approach to study the economics of health and improve health policy outcomes.
Kurt Marais is a lecturer at the Department of Logistics at Stellenbosch. Kurt completed his MCom in Operations Research (cum laude) at Stellenbosch in 2018, and has been a lecturer with the department since 2019. He is passionate about music, and enjoys finding new ways of applying mathematical optimisation techniques to modern real-world scenarios.
In his PhD project on a social network analysis of behaviours that influence mental health and wellbeing, he employs mathematical modelling and simulation techniques to explore the impact of digital connectedness on health and wellbeing.
Ashlene Van der berg Ross
Ashlene Van der Berg-Ross is a committed lecturer with 3+ years of experience in teaching students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. She has previously worked for both the Department of Local Government and DEDAT, and holds a Master’s of Commerce degree in Public and Development Management from Stellenbosch. Her field of study is Human Resource Management and Public Administration.
With the case study of the Western Cape Local Government, her PhD explores the relationship between local government Human Resource Development (HRD) practices and organisational performance, and its impact on public leadership and public services in South Africa.
Megan Bruwer is a transportation engineer (B.Eng Civil, 2008; M.Eng Transportation, 2010). She worked in industry, involved in the design of public transport systems and roads, before joining the Civil Engineering Department of Stellenbosch University as a lecturer in 2015. In 2017 she was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the Faculty of Engineering.
Evaluating traffic state from historical Floating Car Data in a developing country context, her PhD examines the limitations of GPS enabled traffic data observations in South Africa to account for socio-economic inequality and behavioural preferences, with the aim of improving transport planning and policy.
Anele is a Development Management and Development Strategies lecturer at Fort Hare. He holds a master's degree in Development Management from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. His research interests are in social policy, entrepreneurship and rural-urban migration, and he has led a team of researchers conducting a study on the impact of economic spin-off of heritage and tourism for Mnquma municipality from 2017-2018.
Examining land acquisition and sustainable human settlement development in South Africa, his PhD explores the legacy of land dispossession and the effect of different land tenure systems on the livelihood strategies of migrant labour households that link the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces.
Besuthu Hlafa holds a Masters (Mcom) degree in Economics, specialising in Health Economics. He is a passionate Lecturer with 3+ years of experience, teaching Micro and Macro Economics, Development Economics as well as Transport Economics at Fort Hare's Department of Economics. He is dedicated to furthering his career in academia.
His PhD studies the impact of education on health behaviour and health outcomes in South Africa, examining the notion of health literacy and how it informs both access to and the quality of health care in the country.
His supervisor team includes Prof. Ronelle Burger (Department of Economics) at Stellenbosch, Prof. Forget Kapingura (Department of Economics) at Fort Hare, and Dr Matt Dickson in the Institute for Policy Research at Bath.
Zikhona is an Administrator at the Department of Business Management at Fort Hare. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Science (Psychology). In 2016, Zikhona worked as a National Research Foundation (NRF) Intern and gained administrative and research experience. Her interests are in career development and counselling, information and communication technology in education, and organisational behaviour.
Her PhD on decent work in rural South Africa examines the concept of decent work in the education sector to understand its impact on school teachers and education outcomes in rural communities.
Mongi Tshaka, 26, is a PhD Candidate at Fort Hare. His research interest is in the interaction of finance and informality with job creation and livelihood. He currently works as a Student Assistant at Fort Hare's Govern Mbeki Research and Development Centre and brings academic experience in research, lecturing and tutoring.
His PhD explores the contribution of informal finance to livelihood and job creation in South Africa, examining the role and value of informal financial services and microfinance in the country, and studying both access and impact for individual households and small companies.
Nqobile is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Fort Hare. She holds a Masters degree in Economics (Financial Markets). Her research interests are in financial market regulation, behavioural finance and derivatives.
Examining the macroeconomic impact of capital flows in selected SADC countries, her PhD studies the impact of global financial flows on domestic currencies, domestic credit, and inclusive economic growth.